New Zealand's Immigration Minister, Michael Wood, has announced that over 160,000 people have become New Zealand residents since the processing of 80% of 2021 Resident Visa applications has been completed. The 2021 Resident Visa is one of the measures taken by the government to address the global skills shortage caused by COVID-19. The top occupations represented among the new residents are nurses, early childhood education teachers, software engineers, and primary school teachers.
The government is working to unlock additional labour through the Accredited Employer Work Visa, the expansion of the Green List, reopening the Pacific Access Category and Samoa Quota, and resuming the Skilled Migrant Category and Parent Category.
The immigration plan seems to be paying off, as there have been significant increases in migrant arrivals month on month, and international migration numbers show a steady increase. The Working Holiday Scheme has also been in high demand, with over 53,300 visas granted and over 33,900 people welcomed into the country.
Although the vast majority of applications have been processed, some applicants are still waiting to hear the outcome of their applications, and INZ is working to process them as quickly as possible.